Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lesson 6: Acrylic Collages


For the final
project,the students explored acrylic paints. For a quick exploratory study, I had the students create small candy still lifes, and then using CanvasPaper, they explored acrylics, techniques, and various acrylic medium (soft gel, pumice, molding paste, etc). They had 3 days to paint these quick studies.

Next, the students created collages from magazines or internet research. From these, the students gridded the collages, gridded their
canvases, and draw/paint from their references. The students had 2.5 weeks to complete
these paintings (16" x 20"). My biggest hurtle with this class was to get them to move FASTER! Some students brought the canvases home to work on, but the majority were not even drawing until 4 days in! YIKES! I had them bring in their collages by the end of their still life studies, but only about 3-4 had them ready to go. Unfortunately, this class wasn't too motivated by grades, so I kept on encouraging (and nagging) them to have their collages in, and to be drawing to really maximize the amount of time they'd have to paint, in order to create a fabulous work of art. Their collages, on the whole, were interesting. I had to work more individually with some to create a more interesting
composition. What I left my student teaching with (in this project) was a lot of incomplete canvases. My cooperating teacher offered them the opportunity to take it home this past weekend for more credit.... we'll see how many actually take her up on it. Another hurtle
with this class was getting them to actually work from their reference. Many students forgot to bring in their collages on a consistent basis, or just didn't pull it out. It took a lot of reminders from me to get them to "Not work from your mind!" I reiterated that even I, who have been painting for as long as they've been alive, need to have a reference in order to make the work cleaner, crisper, stronger. "Even when I work abstractly, I have references!" I told them. They often changed their collages on the canvas along the way, also. I tried to reinforce the idea that "Once you have a good strong drawing, you can then work the paint! You certainly don't want to be worrying about the drawing and composition once you're in the painting mode. You'll have enough to worry and think about while painting- like mixing colors, techniques, textures- that you don't want to clutter your mind with all the subsequent processes!" That only worked on some. :) Ahhh, students.

Here are some of the photos of the paintings from that class- some more finished than others, obviously. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Being more of a math/science guy, I wonder if the kids could have cut out 1-4 pieces of their gridded collage and just paint that for a day (1 square a day). Maybe that would throw off the flow of the painting, though it might help kids break the big thing into smaller (and more measurable) steps...